Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is spending $50 million to support tourism businesses, theme parks and animal parks affected by COVID-19.
The funding is a part of the broader Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy—the State Government’s plan to keep Queenslanders in work across all industries.
By early June, the Government will also roll out a marketing campaign to encourage Queensland residents to holiday in the state as restrictions ease.
“Queensland’s tourism industry—our state’s backbone, our state’s lifeblood—has been dealt a crippling body blow by the pandemic,” the Premier said.
“Personally, it has been heartbreaking to witness. It has been heartbreaking to make tough but unavoidable decisions—like the decision to close our borders and place hard restrictions on the industry—knowing that they would hurt while at the same time understanding they were critical to save lives.”
“Nearly one in three jobs have been lost in accommodation and food services in Queensland due to restrictions.”
“That’s why we are committing another $50 million to support our tourism businesses and our iconic theme parks and animal parks. We want them to get through this and survive and come out at the other end stronger, more resilient and able to continue to make their critical contribution to Queensland.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) is preparing the domestic tourism campaign, which will be rolled out in early June.
“The June-July school holidays are shaping as a crucially important time for our tourism operators, who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Jones said.
“By having the campaign in the market ahead of time, we’re aiming to fill beds and get people enjoying our experiences so money flows back into the tourism economy.
“That will just be the first step of the campaign, with plans to re-enter the southern domestic markets in July.”
“We have a very simple message for Queenslanders—get out and explore your own state.”
“Ahead of interstate travel resuming, we’ll be working hard with our airline partners to deliver great fares and I’m confident Queensland will have a strong appeal for the nine million Australians who take an international trip each year and won’t be able to in 2020.”
Ms Jones said social media campaigns throughout the pandemic had ensured that Queensland remained top-of-mind for prospective tourists in NSW and Victoria who were planning holidays while in self-isolation. “Once restrictions are lifted, we want to burst out of the gates,” Ms Jones said.
“We’re ahead of the curve because right throughout this crisis we’ve remained active – working with tourism operators and the private sector to ensure tourists return to Queensland after the pandemic.”
TEQ Chief Executive, Leanne Coddington said Queensland was well-positioned to deliver exactly what visitors were looking for post-COVID.
“Queensland is an internationally renowned tourism destination which people travel from all over the world to experience for themselves, so the first stage is a perfect opportunity for us all to rediscover our state and fall in love with it all over again,” she said.
“What our research is showing is that more than 60 per cent of Australians are planning to take a holiday as restrictions ease and they will be looking for warm weather, plenty of sunshine, open spaces, pristine nature and welcoming hosts.
“That plays directly into Queensland’s strengths and puts us in the perfect position to capitalise on interstate tourism when it restarts.”